ell, it was time for the quarterly National Model Railroad Association newsletter again (South-East region only, thank God). It’s that time when I curse my late entries and the scramble to get everything into the newsletter, fighting with oversized photos, rambling copy and Microsoft Publisher. I’m always pleased with the result but not the process.
This time, I had my own contribution, a rather important piece I wrote, three-quarters of a page, that would talk about the importance of a train club being there for its membership. I have just dropped out of another club for exactly that reason – we’d been members for four years and might as well have joined a wolf-pack for all the friendships we got out of it (which was nada). And that’s the thing – if you are going to push-push-push for people to join and then ignore them when they are members, you are pretty much wasting everyone’s time.
So, like I said, a nice clever article all about this. And I’d balanced it with an interesting minor piece another person had submitted. A page of, I dunno, reflection on our hobby and how we settle ourselves into it. I put a little art around the words and there it was, polished.
And then, three days after deadline, I get news of a last minute (well, truthfully, beyond last minute) ad that needed to go in. Full page. Big bucks. See, this is the first edition that actually was carrying paying ads. Suddenly we are making money on the newsletter and that’s kinda unheard of in the division. So it needs to go in. All the rest of the newsletter is taken up by pieces and how-to’s that need to be there and couldn’t be sacrificed. And there is only one page that could go.
So is there a deeper level of hell than one where a writer has to cut himself out of a publication? I might as well send myself a form rejection letter for one of my book submissions. Hated to do it. And now I gotta write the other guy and tell him he’ll make next issue.
But the copy is out and ready to print.
“Stop the Presses!” Never gave that little trope much thought until now. I can only imagine the chief editor blanching when it’s shouted in the old black & white movies. Yeah, I can imagine it easily.